One adult passenger injured in a fatal two-vehicle crash in Oak Ridge on Friday has been released from the hospital, a city official said Saturday. And Oak Ridge Police Department officers started a memorial at the crash site, leaving stuffed animals there Saturday morning.
The fatal crash was reported at about 5:15 p.m. Friday at the intersection of Emory Valley Road and Lafayette Drive. Police said the crash killed one three-year-old child and injured another child, and it also injured four adults. The five people who were injured and the child who died were all taken by ambulance to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville, a Level I trauma center. All six had been in the same vehicle, an older model dark-colored or black sport utility vehicle.
On Saturday, Sarah Self, spokesperson for the City of Oak Ridge, said one of the adult passengers was released from UT Medical Center.
The condition of the other injured patients (three adults and one child) was not available, Self said.
Five people in the second vehicle involved in the crash, a newer silver Volkswagen sedan, were not injured, Self said. There were four adults and one child in that car.
The crash involved a total of 11 people.
On Sunday, Self said city officials didn’t expect to release any new information on the crash or the victims that day. That information includes identifications of those involved in the crash, the cause, and the conditions of the injured. It’s not clear yet if everyone in both vehicles was restrained, or if charges or citations are pending. There may not be an update until Tuesday or later in the week because the investigation is ongoing, Self said. (City government offices are closed Monday, January 16, for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.)
Self said ORPD officers started the memorial at the intersection of Emory Valley Road and Lafayette Drive while visiting the crash site Saturday morning. They placed stuffed animals there, she said.
There are also flowers that have been placed at the memorial. It’s at the base of a stoplight pole on the northeast corner of the intersection, where the SUV came to rest, near Bristol Park Apartments.
It wasn’t clear if the vehicle hit the stoplight pole, although there appeared to be some damage to the pole near its base. Residents of the Woodland neighborhood reported hearing the crash from several blocks away. It appeared severe enough that the stoplights on the metal pole where the SUV stopped were twisted at an angle.
On Friday night, it appeared that the SUV was going north on Lafayette Drive at the time of the crash. It wasn’t clear if the second vehicle, the Volkswagen sedan, was going south or turning left from the southbound lanes onto eastbound Emory Valley Road.
Four people were entrapped in the SUV after the crash, said David Harrington, Oak Ridge Fire Department battalion chief. He said it was considered a mass casualty event due to the number of patients. Two city ambulances responded, and so did four ambulances from Anderson County EMS.
A crash reconstruction team from the Clinton Police Department responded to help investigate the crash.
The SUV was heavily damaged, especially on its front end. Damage to the other vehicle, the Volkswagen sedan, appeared to be less significant.
The intersection was closed for about four hours Friday evening as police investigated. The roadway re-opened at about 9:15 p.m. Friday.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
See previous story here.
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